Reflections on digital leadership for heritage, online seminar

Insights from heritage leaders and digital experts, plus new free resources on developing your digital leadership

What was it about?

We were all thrown in at the digital deep end when the pandemic began, with digital tools and channels becoming lifelines for individuals and organisations. At the same time, as 2020 unfolded, a group of CEOs and senior leaders from a range of medium to large heritage organisations undertook Leading the Sector, a year-long collaborative learning programme to develop their digitally literate leadership, supported by The National Lottery Heritage Fund’s Digital Skills for Heritage.

In this online seminar the team that delivered the course, along with some of the heritage leaders who took part, reflected on what they all learnt over the year. They explored the characteristics and mindset that digitally literate leadership requires and our guest speakers shared their experiences of building their teams’ digital confidence and their organisations’ digital capacity.

The seminar was designed for senior leaders in heritage organisations – CEOs, directors, trustees and others with management and decision-making roles. You can find a playlist with all of the videos from the seminar on our YouTube channel. You can now explore the new Digital Pathways resource, ‘Developing digitally literate leadership in heritage organisations‘.

Seminar Chair

Anra Kennedy, Content & Partnerships Director, Culture24


Josie Fraser, Head of Digital Policy at The National Lottery Heritage Fund

Giovanna Vitelli, Head of Collections and Curatorial, The Hunterian University of Glasgow

Christine Luxton, Chief Executive, Suffolk Wildlife Trust

Katy Ashton, Director, People’s History Museum

Professor Ross Parry, Professor of Museum Technology, School of Museum Studies, University of Leicester

Patrick Towell, Innovation Director, The Audience Agency & Executive Director, Golant Innovation

In the seminar we:

  • Reflected on what digitally literate leadership means in heritage and in your setting
  • Shared how peers tackled relatable challenges around digital capacity, maturity and skills in their heritage organisations
  • Had an open conversation, helping you relate our panel’s insights to your context
  • Launched a new set of free resources, drawn from the course, to support you in developing your own digital confidence, literacy and leadership.

This seminar was informed by Culture24’s work on Leading the Sector, a professional development course in Digital Leadership for a cohort of 16 leaders from medium-to-large heritage organisations across the UK. The course was part of The National Lottery Heritage Fund’s Digital Skills for Heritage and ran from April 2020 to May 2021. Project partners were Golant Innovation/The Audience Agency and specialist advisors were Professor Ross Parry, University of Leicester and Dr Nick Winterbotham.